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More than 2,000 people attended the debut London exhibition of conceptual artist Karma Khazi last week, during its much-hyped, purposefully-short, three-day stint.


Sh!t Show: London explored the artistic merits of the city’s toilet cubicle graffiti, with the artist having visited 250 pub toilets in preparation for the exhibition, documenting every scribble, doodle and message he found and interpreting nearly 100 pieces of graffiti into his own artworks.


The London show was the first in a series of events planned by the anonymous artist, who is now turning his attention to a city often seen as the birthplace of graffiti - New York. 


Speaking about the event, Karma Khazi says: “When I first came up with this idea, it started out as more of a passion project. I didn’t know if many would be interested in toilet graffiti, but no matter how well my regular art career was going, this became like an itch I couldn’t scratch. It was always there and eventually I decided I had to do it. It was now or never. It turns out, people really do care about it. We’ve all grown up with it, see.”


Unbeknownst to many of the show’s visitors, Karma Khazi was able to visit the exhibition himself. 


“I got the chance to stroll around the show and see people interacting with the work in a natural way. Nobody knew who I was, so there was no airs and graces - people weren’t saying nice things because the artist was standing next to them. I’ve never witnessed so much joy and laughter at an art show. It was pretty special. I didn’t really know that was what I was hoping for, until I was there.


“I got to hear people reacting to what they saw - the offensive messages, the funny messages, the lovely messages… it clearly genuinely resonated with people because they’d seen similar things in cubicles themselves, or it made them think about the people who might have left those marks in the toilets. That’s what makes this project so intriguing - everybody has a different connection to it. My initial assumptions were right… Everyone has some kind of connection to toilet graffiti.”


The show launched in Shoreditch with a promise to offer “Free art, Free music, and Free speech” - a nod to the EP recorded by Karma Khazi at Radiohead's studio in Oxfordshire; and mixed at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London. 

And the project was filmed from its inception, by double BAFTA-winning filmmaker, Lee Philips, offering an insight into the show and the work behind it - including the two-day build of a toilet cubicle where guests could leave their own marks and create an ever-changing piece of art. ‘SH!T SHOW’ - the sequel to the first ‘Karma Khazi’ 12 minute short film, has just been released following the exhibition, and is available to watch on and Vimeo.

“My own anonymity is a reflection of that,” explains the artist. “Every piece of graffiti that inspired the pieces in my show was written in a completely private realm. That’s why it’s so incredible to see the different ways people use that anonymity - to be nice, to be rude, or even to start a conversation.”


Karma Khazi is now turning his attention to New York City, where a new psyche will form the basis for his show. 


“The London show featured so many very specific places and references - ‘Yer ma drives a Smart Car around Leyton’ was one of my favourite pieces of graffiti here. It’s just unquestionably funny. It gets an immediate response from people in London, but how many people in New York would have a clue what that meant? What’s a Smart car? Where is Leyton? Why is it funny that your mum would drive a Smart car around Leyton? 


“The most exciting thing about travelling to a new city is that I have no idea what I’ll find there. Will it mainly be political? Will people in New York be more serious or aggressive than people in London? We’ll get to see the differences between our cultures, all written before us on toilet doors and walls.” 


Karma Khazi is available for interview. 

For further information, images or to request interview opportunities, please contact / 020 8355 7864

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